The Blue side of Manchester, despite their star studded lineup, has been searching for the long term heir to midfield stalwart Fernandinho over the last two windows. Today, it seems like the English champions have found their man.
Manchester City agreed to pay out Rodrigo Hernandez’s €70 million release clause yesterday before announcing his signing today on a 5 year deal for a club record £62.5 million fee.
Despite signing for Los Rojiblancos only a year before, Rodri has proven his quality and been likened to Sergio Busquets, already making him an admirer of Pep Guardiola. Here’s an article explaining why the Spaniard and the Citizens are a perfect fit:
When you’re mentioned in the same breath as Busquets, composure and being comfortable in possession immediately springs to mind. Rodri had a 91.1% pass completion in La Liga last season whilst making an average of over 56 passes per game (WhoScored). Perfect for a Guardiola system.
After winning the ball back, the midfielder is able to keep it, go forward and start attacks too. Quick release is integral in Pep’s system, with Rodri’s 1.1 dribbles and 0.5 key passes per game in the Spanish top flight allowing him to seamlessly transition into City’s side.
Of course the difficult aspect of now 34 year old Fernandinho’s game to replace is his tireless work rate and defensive qualities.
Yet the former Villarreal midfielder could be the best candidate to be the Brazilian’s successor. He posted brilliant defensive numbers last season, averaging 3 tackles per and 1.2 interceptions per game, better than Fernandinho’s tackles (2) and only slightly worse than his interceptions per game (1.4). Stats once again from WhoScored.
At 6ft 3 too, Rodri is a massive physical presence in the centre of the pitch, something that City’s domestic treble winning side have lacked with 5ft 9 Fernandinho.
This signing seems like a match made in heaven for Manchester City. Do you think Rodrigo will be a success at the Etihad? Let us know on Twitter @TasteofFtbl